Web Posts Index

This page is mainly bugs I have posted/reported. But may include some that affect us.


Economist 2.3+ app (vs. 2.1)

In July-2017 the Economist "upgraded" their Android app from 2.1.10 (initially to 2.3.x now on 2.9.x). Sadly, I found nothing improved in the new app, and much that is broken or worse.
Unless mentioned otherwise, the following relate to using the app on an Android tablet (Google's Nexus 10).
Also, some of the behaviours change on subsequent full re-install of the app (eg: point 3 below), despite the fact that its reported version number does not change. As of a full re-install on 7-Oct-2017 it reports Version: 2.4.0 Powered by PugPig 1.14.1
  1. Does not work if your email address contains a "+" sign
    Though you can login to the app with an address containing a "+" sign (such as the Gmail alias M.Mouse+economist@gmail.com) the app says "Your subscription is active" but also "You are not authorised to view this content" and, sure enough, you cannot read any content.
    Case ref: EDGEDGQ1769771X
      Now fixed. Possibly in 2.4.0
  2. Loses your place when you close and reopen the app
    In the 2.1 app, if you closed it, or restarted your device, then next time you opened the app it immediately opened the last article you had been reading.
    With the new one you are placed on the front page of the app (the index of available copies). When you click on the one you were reading it briefly shows you that page, but then replaces it with an advert that you must swipe to dismiss. Having done so, you are on the table of contents (ToC) for the issue, not the article you were reading.
    After reinstall on 15-Sep, the swipe page when you re-open has gone, but you are still placed back on the ToC after a flash of the page you were reading. After 2.4.0 appeared the swipe page is back again.
    In 2.7.1 the swipe seems to have gone again and you are (sometimes/always?) placed back into the article you were reading.
  3. Cannot change font size and Day/Night mode when reading
    In the 2.1 app, these options were available when reading an article. In the new one, you can only change them from the table of contents, which is rarely where you are when you need to change them.
    After reinstall on 15-Sep, these two controls appeared when reading an article, then in a subsequent release (2.4.0) they disappeared again. Then after an app restart they were back; who knows how long they'll stay this time! 27-Apr-2018: they're still here in 2.5.5. Maybe this is now a dead issue.
  4. Massive wasted space in Landscape mode causes overmuch paging
    Landscape mode is probably the dominant format on tablets (whose cases tend to operate that way), and there's now much wasted space either side of the text.
    One can understand that this makes the app simpler by not changing the line lengths between Portrait and Landscape, but it means three times more paging is required compared to 2.1 (which re-formatted to account for the orientation).
  5. No indication of article length
    This is infuriating. As you move into a new article the 2.1 app showed the page count giving you a feel as to whether this is a normal length article or a long essay one.
    NB: 2.1 on a small device such as a phone behaved the same. But, I can't think that many folk read on such a device.
  6. No indication of progress through an article
    2.1 on a tablet showed the page number.
    In 2.9 there's a transient vertical indicator on the right-hand edge when you scroll but a) it's not there when not scrolling, b) right-handed folk will rarely see it because it is under your swiping hand, c) it's almost too faint to see in normal mode, and d) it's invisible in Night mode.
  7. More clicks/strokes to read an article
    In 2.1 on a tablet you swiped or clicked right/left to read through an article a page-at-a-time, needing only one touch to move from page to page.
    Now you must scroll-down which takes much more finger work.
  8. No front cover image on the index page
    After downloading a new issue and then going offline to read it, the image for the issue shows as a white rectangle with a circulating busy cursor in it. See screenshot.
    You can force the image to reappear by closing the app, going online and reopening, closing the app again, going offline and then reopening!
  9. Swipe to next/previous article does not preserve location in article
    In 2.1 on a small device, where next/previous article was with right/left swipe as it now is on a tablet, if you inadvertently moved to a different article, you just swiped back and were at the same location within the one you had left. Now you always lose your place, being placed at the top of the newly opened article.
  10. Expansion in landsape mode clips image
    If you touch an image - particularly KAL's cartoon - to get a larger view when in landscape mode, the image is clipped so you don't see all the detail.
  11. Hyphenated words can have hyphens removed
    For instance, in the 2020 January 18-24 issue's "Special report on Housing", the last sentence in the fifth paragraph of the "Building up" piece has the word owner-occupation. In the print edition, this is broken across lines on the hyphen. In the app it is not on a line break (in either Portrait or Landscape mode) and the word becomes owneroccupation.
  12. Caption text on expanded image has \n at the end
    No big deal, but messy!

To cap it all, the Feedback form does not work after URL paste!
On startup the app once offered me a feedback form (despite the info in the Settings page saying you can't do so via Playstore). To save typing in all the above, I copied the URL to it and pasted it into the form's message box. But I was then unable to add any other text because every time I tapped on the message box to get the keyboard up, the app redirected me to Chrome to show the URL.

Economist 2.25 app

On getting a new tablet in Aug-2020 and downloading the app I got a totally different one from the one on my other devices. Maybe it is a work in progress, but I had to give up on it immediately: Mercifully the 2.9.1 one is still available, but now renamed in Google Play as "The Economist (Legacy)".

Ubuntu GVIM cannot update file on SMB share

Problem with VI, VIM and GVIM. Files can be edited with GEDIT.
Ref: 1917871

Visual Studio Installer leaves growing collection of identical single-file folders in %temp%

They really don't know how to manage temporary files!!

Visual Studio Installer leaves growing collection of identical folders in %temp%

Logged as Automatic updates is DISABLED, but the BackgroundDownload scheduled task still runs which was linked to the bug 1072966 that I raised.
See also Visual Studio Installer Filling Temp Folder

OpenOffice Writer: spurious and erroneous text when reading .docx

See Issue 128404

OpenOffice Calc Cannot "Search for Styles" for style used in Conditional Formatting

See Issue 127820

OpenOffice Calc sets "Wrap text automatically" on when loading .xls file with linefeeds in cells

See Issue 127817

OpenOffice Calc duplicates text when importing from .xlsx

See Issue 123306

Amazon (Boto3) feature request: faster S3 ACL info access

Listing content of a bucket with ACL info for each item means one API call per item. It would be much faster if the list_objects_v2 method allowed you to ask for ACL info too.
Ref: AWS forum

DroidVim switches to Japanese characters if plain text file contains "8-bit" character

eg: if file contains £ sign! Work-around: edit .vimrc and add:
set fileencodings=ucs-bom,utf-8,default,latin1
Many thanks to shiftrot, the developer, for this!

Windows 10 Creators Upgrade - Not enough space and no option to use other storage

The upgrade is more or less a full Windows reinstall. As such it needs about 8 Gig. In previous major upgrades, the installer let you select another local drive or mounted disk if there is not 8 Gig on C:

In this one, there is no such option, and the only option is to create a USB to install from, as per answers.microsoft.com.

Clearly the Creators nomenclature means written by novices with no concept of the real world.

Android Chrome mis-sizes fonts

A "feature" of Chrome on Android (which is not on Chrome on a PC) is to up-size fonts in some parts of a page, regardless of their default or explicit CSS markup.
To illustrate, this afonts.htm page appears with its first line in tiny font and the rest in a larger one (screenshots on a Moto E 4G phone and a Google Nexus 10 tablet). According to this and this stackoverflow posts, it is due to deliberate Font Boosting feature.

For what it's worth, I posted this bug using the Report an Issue option on from Chrome on a PC:

Chrome on Android mis-sizes fonts, apparently enlarging the size in some areas of a page with longer streams of text. This makes a nonsense of page layout.
To illustrate, open https://binney.net/nof/afonts.htm
On any other browser (including Chrome on a PC), all the text is in the same size. On Chrome on Android, the initial para is in tiny font while the rest is in a much larger one.
See screenshots on a Google Nexus tablet (https://binney.net/images/tmp/afonts-tablet.png) and a phone (https://binney.net/images/tmp/afonts-phone.png).

To try to fix this on our pages, we have, as suggested in many posts, this in our CSS: html * {max-height:1000000px;}
Sadly it doesn't work on all (including this page).

Windows 10 printer device settings losing Duplex installable options

From some time in early 2017 an HP (CP2025dn) printer we have setup to use the HP Color Laserjet CP202X PCL6 Class driver (which has a built-in duplexor) keeps on losing the installable option for the Duplex Unit. The pattern may be that it goes if the printer has been used and then is turned off before Windows is shut down.

I have tried various fiddles, prompted by, inter alia, posts: Duplex setting on printer not persistent, How can I install the same printer twice? and, after messing up when trying to disable changes to the driver settings (removing all Admin update access!) "Access is denied, unable to remove" when deleting printer

HaveIbeenPwned support for Googlemail addressing aliases syntax

Does your email search takes account of the flexibility of some email address variations?
For instance, as I'm sure you know, a Googlemail address can have, before the @, as many dot's as you like and anything including and following a plus (ref: lifehacker article).

Already a discussion point (where I have now voted) at: HIBP Customer Feedback

Ubuntu 16.04 Files application broken

Default Files application is missing lots of features.
Work-around: replace it with Nemo (from Ubuntu Software - replacing Files 3.14.3 with Nemo 2.8.6)
See: my post and existing bug

pycurl error 6, 'Could not resolve: ... Domain name not found'

I started getting this when we moved from Sky to Virgin broadband, which replaced the router/DNS engine. This in turn hit a bug in the way pycurl is built for Windows.
(poor) work-around: wire each device I need to pycurl to into C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts
See: mailing list

Pycurl 7.19.5 on Windows ignores SSL options to use client (X.509) certificate

The "distribution" (pycurl-7.19.5.win32-py2.7.msi or pycurl-7.19.5.win32-py3.4.msi) under either python 2.7.6 or 3.4.0 ignores any curl.setopt(curl.SSLxxx) calls to specify a client certificate and instead uses the most recent (or only) certificate in the local machines Internet Explorer store.
See: Github issue and curl-and-python-bounces@cool.haxx.se mailing list with subject "Convert client-certificate curl.exe command to pycurl"

Windows 8 Explorer search doesn't work

See thread.

Wish list for better DiffMerge long line handling

See thread

Closed / no longer an issue

Python code to decode Windows licence

I embellished Lenar Hoyt's code, to support our Windows 10 licence which was upgraded from a Windows 8 one.

GVIM SH syntax highlighting problem (complex quoting)

Switches between single- and double-quoting with text including backslashes confused the highlighter. Worked-round by adding two redundant backslashes (in red) to the quoted SED script (from nas-sync.sh):
  sed -n '
  # Translate encoded single quote:
  ...   '
See Github issue 1786

setActiveSheet does not work in Hidden mode in OpenOffice CALC API

So, eg, using (modified) unoconv to convert all sheets involves flashing actions on screen.
See Issue 127395 and Github pull/199 asking for a new format option (-f csvsheets) to export all worksheets from a spreadsheet to CSV rather than just the first.

Files created with CYGWIN have "NULL SID:(DENY)" windows ACL, inter alia

This started happening after I had to re-install Windows and just copied back a previously saved CYGWIN installation (rather than going through its tortuous and unintuitive installation procedure).
Any file created with CYGWIN had various DENY ACL settings and when using Windows Explorer to examine its security it reported that the entries were mis-ordered.
The solution was to add noacl to the default /etc/fstab entry (thanks to Andrey Repin).
Also had to add the exec flag to avoid the annoying side-effect of noacl which made the WHICH command no longer report files on the PATH that do not have the executable bit set which (perversely) you cannot set using CYGWIN's chmod (or any other trick I can think of).

Android Chrome's Reader Mode disappeared

This mode (aka: Simplified View) used to be enabled with a chrome://flags setting. From a release in late 2019 this setting was removed and you now set it with Settings | Accessibility | Simplified view for web pages (when supported)
Sadly, if you used to have the flag set, this was not moved into the new control.
See also my (mis-targetted) post on stackexchange.

Visual Studio Python 3.6 Intellisense does not know re.IGNORECASE

It's OK with 3.4 but seems to not know any of the normal "top level" flags.
Fixed in Visual Studio 15.9.3
Ref: Dev community post

Amazon "Manage Your Content and Devices" capped at 100 books

Having just gone over 100 books, we find that this webpage will not show more than 100 books. At the top of the page one sees something like: "Showing 1 - 100 of 102 items in Books--All" but there is no option to scroll onto, for instance, a page 2 to show the others.
Since Amazon don't deign to run a bug reporting system available to it's users I had to report this by phone to them (16-May-2018). The support person claimed she understood the problem and would raise it with the developers.
But, given Amazon's miserable handling of large collections I can't say I hold out much hope.
NB: the problem does not exist in the Kindle app
Jul-2018: problem has been fixed! Page load now auto-loads all (we now have 113 books).

Vimtouch (Android) can't edit .vimrc

The standard one is in a protected (on non-rooted devices) part of the Android filesytem ($VIM/vimrc which is /data/data/net.momodalo.app.vimtouch/files/vim/vimrc).
I suggest/request an optional one in, for instance, /storage/emulated/0/Download/vimrc
See Issue 90
We've now moved to DroidVim which does allow .vimrc editing.

Kindle App BUG: Delete bookmark from Notebook not working

If you use the trash icon in the Notebook to delete bookmarks (eg: because you have several you want to delete) it invariably fails to do anything. If you are lucky and keep clicking trash icons for different bookmarks you can sometimes get rid of some of them.
See KindleQnA
Apr-2018: much better for the last few months, though still a bit erratic.

BlueGriffon $date= markup

See thread.
No longer use BlueGriffon.

Yahoo Groups daily digest mail doesn't work in Gmail

Thread no longer exists: https://suggestions.yahoo.com/detail/?prop=groups&fid=329791

Visual Studio HTML (web forms) editor Split view

This used to work when I had VS Community 2015 installed (after setting the editor as per to stackoverflow/carpetflyer). And, when I upgraded to 2017 it stayed OK. But then I foolishly uninstalled 2015 and the Split view no longer worked (and Design view hangs).
Problem solved by re-running the VS Installer, using Modify and installing the ASP.NET and web development component which showed as not installed, despite the fact that it had been installed before - it was the HTML (web forms) editor that was not working.
See my comments on dev community.

Python: Write/print newline to sys.stdout without a carriage return under Windows

Python 3 normally forces \n to \r\n. See my Stackoverflow post and the messy work-arounds required!

Kindle App BUG: change Device Name fails

If you rename an Android Kindle device (ie: one running the Kindle app from the Google Play app store), the app loses the new name soon afterwards.

See KindleQnA

Ubuntu 14.04 compiz makes it unusable on low-powered PC

See Compiz CPU usage dramatically increased in Ubuntu 14.04.

OpenOffice 4.0.1 Spreadsheet crashes inserting a row

See thread. Fixed in 4.1

Picasa 3.9 breaks sync-to-web

See thread.
As per my 16-Jun-2012 update, the work-around didn't last long. So we still wait for a post-3.9 version that works again.
Sadly - Picasa (PC) is now a no-longer product.

Windows 8.1 upgrade fails with Error code: 0x80073bc3

Threads: social.technet.microsoft.com answers.microsoft.com and M$ support ticket.

Python supplied with Apache OpenOffice 4.0.0 aborts with Segmentation violation

Fixed in 4.0.1 - see bugzilla.

Windows 8 Task Scheduler will not run "At system startup" task

See thread

Thunderbird parent.lock behaviour changed

This prevented my (part scripted) mechanism to control cross-platform (Windows and Linux) access to the same profile (on a shared drive).
See thread.

Ubuntu bugs

Page last edited: 10-May-2021